F-Sport Export to Original

Oct 18 2004

Because Larry seems to be implementing our designs faster than the D70 shoots in burst mode, I decided to make myself start using F-Spot for real. One of the things it’s missing is generic web export (unless one uses gallery). I started writing up on this in our wiki.

Temporarily I’d like to have F-Spot export to Original, before the export stuff rocks and obsoletes original. Having multiple export plug-ins can’t hurt. Works really well with Firefox extensions.

And I made the wrong assumption that designing an export dialog is so trivial that I could jump directly into laying things out. However my initial list of use cases didn’t really have much on web export. I ended up doing a fairly useless sketch, since a good design really needs to be based on a sane task the target audience is going to perform. I was probably fooled into thinking I should know best what these are in this case without putting them down.

So the major problem is that uploading a new album is significantly different to updating an existing one. The easier path from the implementation perspective would be going for File>Export>Web (PHP)>New Album and File>Export>Web (PHP)>Update Existing or going with an assistant. I don’t like the assistant idea much, because updating an album will not be as common as generating new one (one annoying step of the process) and going though all the steps usually means a lot of clicks and tends to be frustrating when repeating the process.

Like I said I should be in a good position, since I’m designing this functionality for myself really. I know the process usually consists of generating the album and then realising I forgot something and updating the images, taking some away and adding others. Perhaps the most natural interface would consist of:

  • Album (Image Selection) Export functionality - To upload new albums to the web

  • Per-image export

Let me explain this a little. After a web export, an image in the f-spot library would be tagged with meta-info about where it was exported and all the necersary details. There would be an interface to display the image is on the web and is up-to-date. Because we still need to make this usable for people who are not always on-line, it should work off-line with the ability to sync once going online.

That’s as far as I got today, but I’d like to have a bit of a discussion making sure this is not complete crack before starting think about the interface.

Update: Perhaps we do want to use the concept of Albums within F-Spot. It is quite a good metaphore, real world language to speak in HCI jargon. On the other hand we could go wild and export the concept of an image database as a whole with crazy stuff like tags, stored queries (“Images of Tuomas”, “Images from January”, “Images of Tuomas in Kristiansand”). Is is ok to think of these as albums as well? Gosh I only come up with more questions ;)